The Vanishing Glory: The Tragic Effects of Long-Term Face Coverings

The Vanishing Glory: The Tragic Effects of Long-Term Face Coverings

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

A Brief History of Face Coverings

Face coverings and veils are nothing new. Middle Eastern cultures have been covering the face for centuries. In fact, the first book of the Bible, Genesis speaks of this custom on at least three occasions.[1] Historically, veils symbolised chastity, modesty, and subjection. To this day, head coverings and veils remain an important role in many religions, including Orthodox Judaism, and Islam. For these groups, the head covering signifies religious identity and self-expression.  

Whilst veils and head coverings have a long and well-documented history, the surgical face mask is a relatively new invention. According to “History of Surgical Face Masks: The myths, the masks, and the men and women behind them,”[2] by John L. Spooner, face masks first emerged at the end of 19th century and were used as a protective measure by doctors during surgery to prevent airborne bacteria from entering an open wound.

In 1918, the surgical mask became a global phenomenon as the Spanish flu ravaged the world. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus.[3] Historic photographs from this time period depict well-dressed people wearing masks.[4]

Most western cultures discarded the mask for everyday use after World War 2. However, China, and some other eastern countries, continued to wear masks in submission to the Communistic public health campaigns, and to secure recognition of their medical modernity, innovation, and scientific prowess.

In 2002, there was a mask resurgence in most Asian countries with the SARS epidemic. Christos Lynteris, a medical anthropologist, wrote, “It was the 2002-3 SARS epidemic that led to the massive adoption of face masks as personal anti-viral protection in China and elsewhere in East Asia: More than 90 percent of Hong Kong residents reportedly wore them during the SARS epidemic. Once again, as in 1911 [pneumonic plague outbreak]— but on a 21st-century scale — photographs of mask-clad crowds became iconic of SARS across the globe.”[5]

On March 17, 2020, Vanessa Friedman wrote an article in the New York Times with the sub-title, “The surgical face mask has become a symbol of our times.”[6] Friedman said, “When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, those white or baby blue rectangles that hide the mouth and nose, turning everyone into a muzzled pelican, will be what we see.”[7]

Since Friedman’s article in early 2020, surgical face masks have become not merely a personal choice made by the people, but a mandated health requirement of many governments and countries globally.

As Bible-believing Christians, how should we view face coverings? Should we simply comply with the mandatory mask regulations under the Romans 13 “submission to government commands?” Are there other aspects to consider in this discussion?

The Dignity of the Human Face in Creation

The face or countenance is the centrepiece of our outer man. This is that part of the human body which makes us distinguishable from others, most clearly displays emotion and feeling, and is primarily responsible for communication. Whilst the eyes are said to be “the window to the soul,” the entire countenance is that which reflects the glory and image of God.

A human being’s physical individuality is almost entirely facial. This is why mobile phones and surveillance technology now use facial recognition and retinal scanning to unlock devices, even in preference to fingerprints, patterns, and codes. This is also why terrorists and criminals cover their faces to protect themselves from being recognised. We have all seen those iconic bank robber movies where the perpetrators put on balaclavas or stockings over their head before a holdup.

God designed man with a face that reflects His own glory. Emotions and expressions mirror God’s character, and these are displayed on the human face.

According to the Bible, the face is like the soul’s barometer; it is an outward indicator of the internal workings of the heart. Even a cursory read of the Scripture reveals that emotions and feelings are expressed on the face: learning and wisdom makes a face shine;[8] a blameless man is described as one of laughter and mirth;[9] the state of one’s heart can be observed;[10] laughter and shouts of joy are an expression of God’s powerful deeds;[11] sorrow and despondency are revealed;[12] the presence of sin can be perceived;[13] sickness, health deficiencies, and malnutrition can also be detected.[14]

When we understand the value and dignity of the human face and that it is a “portal” into divine creativity and expression, we will be careful about covering it, and consider carefully why and how long it is veiled.

From Scripture, it is clear that utilising a face covering is not a sinful deed,[15] but there is an argument for open-facedness, and the full expression of one’s personality, individuality, and glory.

The Dehumanisation of Mask-Wearing

Human beings are distinct from the rest of creation.[16] One of these distinguishing features is that of personality. Personality deals with our identity, thinking patterns, communication, and rationale. In this way, we are made in the image of God,[17] and bear His markings both on the inside and the outside.

Our particular focus here relates to our personality as it is displayed on the outside. As we have already seen, the face or countenance is the primary showcase of our personality. It is here that our emotions are displayed, words are verbalised, brows are furrowed, eyes twinkle with delight, dimples emerge, imps of mischief are perceived, lips are curled, humour is expressed, and a host of micro-expressions are at play.

When part or all of the face is covered, we are dehumanised, even if it is for a brief moment. Consider the surgeon. Decked out in his sanitary scrubs, surgical cap, gloves, and face mask, he is a sight to behold. There are virtually no identifying features seen, and his emotional state cannot be observed. You would not be able to pick him out of a line up, and until he removes his mask, you have no idea whether the procedure was a success.

Consider the motorcyclist. He is wearing the leather jacket, pants, and gloves. His helmet hides much of his face so that it is almost impossible to identify him, let alone hear his voice. The motorcyclist must remove his helmet in nearly every establishment because it is deemed a security risk and/or a lack of social etiquette to have the face veiled.

In both examples above, the reason for a face covering is both logical and acceptable. It is a protective mechanism which we applaud. The same is true of those who must wear hazmat suits or personal protective equipment.

There is no doubt that face coverings are essential to certain situations, but it should be noted that for those periods of time when they are employed, the individual is dehumanised. Whether used for personal or occupational reasons, head coverings of any sort are by nature “glory diminishers.”

Is it wrong to wear a mask, face covering, or personal protective equipment? Of course not. We want the surgeon to wear a mask, the workmen to be in a hazmat suit in toxic environments, and the motorcyclist to wear a helmet. However, we only want that temporarily, because the features, emotions, expressions, and glory of the countenance reveal the true character, and this must be seen again as soon as possible.

Being face to face in the Bible was the ultimate sense of nearness and relationship. This is attested to by Jacob when he encountered God,[18] when the Lord spoke to Moses,[19] in the intimacy of the husband-and-wife relationship,[20] and the future revelation of Jesus Christ to His church.[21]

We also note that in the New Testament Church, Paul regularly instructs the believers to greet or welcome one another with a holy kiss.[22] By this, the apostle was not issuing a mandate for kissing per se, but that the churches would be physical and familial in their expressions of endearment towards one another.

The present COVID-19 pandemic has seen many governments mandate the use of surgical masks in virtually all circumstances. This is, of course, an effort to avoid transmitting the contagion to others. Whilst the intentions to protect the public are commendable, the ongoing dehumanisation of society is a very real concern.

Not only are we concealing a good portion of the human countenance by wearing face masks, but we are also impeding our ability to read human behaviour, social cues, body language, and expression. Prolonged use of facial masks will have a significant impact on how we interpret one another, interact, and may even minimise the exchange of common pleasantries.

Children born in the last few years do not know a society without masks. This will inevitably result in some form of social retardation. It is already hard enough for the 1.5% of Australians who are on the Autism spectrum to interpret human emotions without adding face coverings into the mix.

When a government instructs an individual to wear a mask, they are demanding them to be disfigured. They are robbing them of their God-given glory, and this is the very definition of humiliation.

The sad tragedy of society is seen in that it covers what is glorious and reveals what is to be kept hidden. It should not surprise the Christian that once again God’s order has been inverted. In the Garden of Eden, God made Adam and Eve a covering for their nakedness, but not for their faces. Today, we are inclined to expose the immodest parts of our bodies, and now with COVID-19, have obscured that which was designed to reflect God’s glory and creativity.

You see, then, it’s not “just a mask,” it is a form of dehumanisation and humiliation. Am I saying we should never wear masks? No, but it should be rare and avoided wherever possible.

The Display of God’s Grace on the Believer’s Face

Significant time has already been given to the dignity of the human face in creation, but now I would like to conclude this article by looking at the face of the redeemed.

Scripture is replete with references to joy in the life of the Christian.[23] Ultimately, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit within who is the source of true and lasting joy.[24]

At salvation, we become a new creation and are given a new heart.[25] Solomon said, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face.”[26] His father, David, wrote, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”[27]

The Christian should be the happiest individual in all the world, having personally experienced salvation from sin, having no reason to fear death, and with God living inside. These spiritual realities should be expressed on the face.

There is a “double glory” associated with the countenance of a Christian – the dignity of the natural human face, and the cheerful disposition of God’s saving grace.

Face coverings, therefore, should only be employed when circumstances are extreme, and only for very brief periods of time. God’s glory, our individual uniqueness, and the indelible, cheery marks of grace must not be masked for very long. After all, God removed the “spiritual veil” from our hearts,[28] and we now behold the glory of the Lord with an “unveiled face,”[29] surely that should be a reality in the physical realm too.

God has called us to proclaim His excellencies,[30] and most often this begins with a radiant, open-faced, countenance.


[1] Genesis 24:65; Genesis 38:14, 19






[7] Ibid.

[8] Ecclesiastes 8:1

[9] Job 8:21

[10] Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 16:5

[11] Psalm 126:2

[12] Nehemiah 2:2

[13] Isaiah 3:9

[14] Daniel 1:10

[15] Exodus 34:33-35

[16] 1 Corinthians 15:39

[17] Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:1-2

[18] Genesis 32:30

[19] Exodus 33:11

[20] Song of Solomon 2:14

[21] 1 Corinthians 13:12

[22] Romans 16:6; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 2 Corinthians 13:12

[23] Philippians 4:4; James 1:2; Romans 15:13

[24] Galatians 5:22-23

[25] 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26

[26] Proverbs 15:13

[27] Psalm 34:5

[28] 2 Corinthians 4:4

[29] 2 Corinthians 3:18

[30] 1 Peter 2:9

The Godly Response to Physical Maladies

Right Thinking when I’m Sinking

Physical maladies can be incredibly difficult to work through. Often times it is not only our bodies which are affected, but also our minds. Maintaining a right perspective is only possible when we walk in the Spirit and allow Him to control our thinking.

God is still in my Boat and still in Charge

In Mark 4:35-41 the disciples learned an important lesson about trusting God despite the seemingly impossible circumstances. These professional fishermen encountered a storm which looked like it would destroy them. The Lord Jesus Christ was sleeping, and it appeared like He was unconcerned for their welfare. Instead of trusting, they were toiling. Instead of experiencing the freedom that comes from knowing the presence and power of God, they were frantic. After giving everything in their own strength, they finally approached the Master of the wind and the waves. He demonstrated His omnipotence by rebuking the weather and bringing about incredible peace.

The application here is not that the Lord will always remove the difficult circumstances, but rather that He is present in the storm, and in full control. The Lord will always do what is right, and we are to exercise faith in Him.

God is only up to Good things in my Life

For many Christians Romans 8:28 has become a cliché. However, it is not some vain and repetitious mantra that sounds good but carries no real truth. This precious text encourages the Christian with the knowledge that God will only ever do good, and even the difficult circumstances of life are threads in His tapestry of grace. Whether we are experiencing sickness, grief, heartache, loss or pain, we can be assured that this is working out for our sanctification and ultimate good.

God’s Grace and Power are more fully realised in my Weakness

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul faces an undisclosed thorn in the flesh. Whatever the malady, it was difficult, and the Lord would not remove it though Paul had “pleaded” with Him to do so on numerous occasions. Instead of a “removing job,” God wanted to do an “improving job” in the life of His servant. In Verse 9, The Lord Jesus Christ speaks to Paul and says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In other words, the Lord wanted Paul to learn the reality of God’s strength and grace, and his own weakness. The spiritual result of this thorn is noted in verse 10 when Paul affirms that he is “content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.”

A Godward Gaze is required to stay Afloat

In Matthew 14:22-33 the Lord Jesus Christ comes to His disciples walking on the sea in the middle of the night. Having overcome his initial fear, Peter enquires of the Lord as to whether he might come to him on the water. The Lord says “Come.” Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk on the water. This experienced fisherman had never in all his life walked on water. However, when he became distracted by the wind and elements he began to sink. The Lord rebuked Peter for not continuing to walk by faith. Whilst Peter maintained a god-ward gaze, he not only kept his head above the waves, but he walked on top of the perilous sea.

When we maintain a god-ward gaze in the midst of hardships, we too will live above the adverse circumstances. We must continue by faith to look to Christ and His Word. Only then will our minds and strength be renewed. Hope in the Lord and we will “mount up with wings as eagles.” Paul writes, “Do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Pastor or Pope? An Article on Pastoral Abuse

The subject at hand is extremely controversial, and the ramifications of such an article will no doubt cause me open contempt, disrespect, and possibly the label of ‘heretic.’ Despite this, I cannot stay silent. It is necessary, yea vital, to present readers with a biblical perspective on the role and authority of the Pastor, especially in light of an increase in what can only be described as pastoral  abuse.  

The Roman Catholic religion has long been known for its ability to manipulate its members through fear and threats, allowing those in leadership to effectively control the people and their commitment to the cause. The power associated with the pope is beyond belief. Masses submit to his every wish, convinced that to disobey or even disagree, is to fight against God Himself. A similar ploy has entered into some conservative churches of our land. In these settings, the pastor will exalt himself to a place of power and inerrancy, demanding the allegiance of his people instead of turning their hearts toward God and promoting His sovereignty and authority.

All Men are Sinners

It does not matter how ‘good’ your pastor or church leadership may appear; all have sinned. There are pastors today who act as if they have reached the state of sinless perfection, and therefore represent the perfect example of holiness and wisdom. This is simply not true.

The shepherd does not gain some special entrance into the presence of God; He comes before the same throne of grace as all believers, and through the same person – Jesus Christ. He may preach from an elevated platform on Sunday but that is not an indication of spiritual superiority in God’s hierarchy. Pastors who seek the praise and accolades of men are not fit to fulfil the shepherd’s role. Surely a man who is perpetually broken over his sin and who has an understanding of the holiness of God, is the only suitable candidate for leading and shepherding God’s people.

‘…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.’ Psalm 14:3

‘Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?’ Prov.20:9

‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ 1 John 1:8

The Church is Christ’s

‘…Christ is the head of the church: and is the Saviour of the body.’ Ephesians 5:23

 ‘And He [Christ] is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church…’ Colossians 1:17-18

‘And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.’ Ephesians 1:22

If Scriptures were not so clear on this subject, I might be confused about who has the ultimate ownership and rule of the church. The way some pastors enthrone themselves, establishing non-biblical standards, and assuming the role of ‘Pope for the people,’ is appalling, and is in total opposition to the clearly outlined role of the shepherd in the Bible. To assume a role of authority in  Christ’s church that has not been given by God, is theft. If I instruct my congregation to obey standards and practices that God has not commanded, I become the ‘master of God’s people,’ and in turn teach them to follow me instead of the Lord.

How many congregations in our land are ruled by a dictatorial, ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ pastor instead of Christ and His Word being the final authorities in their lives?

It is the Message, not the Man

‘Remember them that have the rule over you, who  have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.’ Hebrews 13:7

Commenting on the above verse, John Gill writes: “Christ’s church is a kingdom, and He is King in it; pastors of churches are subordinate governors; who rule well when they rule not in an arbitrary way, according to their own wills, but according to the laws of Christ, with all faithfulness, prudence and diligence.”

 The pastor, like you and I, is a man saved by grace. He has not been imbued with some special ability (albeit there are gifts dispensed by the Holy Spirit which differ – Romans 12:6), nor does he have some supernatural power over men which is of his own energy.

The shepherd finds his authority solely in the Word of God. His counselling and preaching must be grounded in the Scriptures if he is to serve in the way that God has called him to. The pastor is a man who is to be given to prayer and the studying of the Word. I know pastors who busy themselves with all the tangible and temporal aspects of church life when they ought to be focusing on the spiritual and eternal matters at hand. The  first and most important job of the faithful shepherd is to preach the Word . He is to passionately pursue God, thereby leaving an example for his people. The following ought to form the pastor’s chief ambition and desire:

‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ John 3:30

‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ Philippians 1:21

The Pastor will fail you

Nobody is exempt from the effects of sin. One of the great dilemmas in church today is the expectation on the pastor to do everything right. If the congregation is not careful to remember that the shepherd is only a man, they will inevitably and subconsciously elevate him to a place of  ‘perfection.’ This will be the great downfall of that church and will result in heartache and discouragement when it is found out that the pastor cannot meet those impossible expectations. This does not give license to the pastor to live as he pleases, but it does remove from him the unattainable standard of perfection. A humble and honest leader will acknowledge his own inability to perform his God given role, and will openly admit that he is the chief of sinners,  and unworthy of such a responsibility.

‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.’ Psalm 118:8

‘Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.’ Jeremiah 17:5

 ‘…the Lord thy God…..He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6


Scripture teaches that God desires a pastor to lead by example, nurturing and caring for his people. When the time comes for him to discipline, confront and challenge, his only authority is  the Word of God, and only when as it is applied correctly. 
May God give us pastors who love Christ supremely, act with honesty, humility and integrity, lead by example, and find the basis of all preaching, teaching and counselling  in the pages of Scripture.

Should Christians Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

What will you be doing on March 17 this year? Well, for millions of people in first world countries, they will don as much green as possible, meet at the local Irish tavern for a “green beer,” and wear their “Kiss me, I’m Irish” necklaces and t-shirts even if there is not a drop of Irish blood in their ancestry. These, along with parades, stories of leprechauns and pots of gold, special foods, music, dancing, and lots of drinking, are all part and parcel of the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Patrick, formerly known as Maewyn Succat and considered the patron saint of Ireland, was born in the late 300’s in the Roman colony of Britain. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. Tradition says that he spent six years working as a herdsman in Ireland before escaping from his master and returning home to Britain. During those years of captivity, Patrick began to experience thoughts about God as he was tending sheep. According to his own writings, Patrick began to see visions and have vivid dreams. On one occasion, he heard the voice of God telling him that a ship was being readied for his escape. After eventually fleeing his Irish captors, Patrick travelled some 200 miles to board a ship.

History is a little hazy at this point, and there are conflicting stories about where he disembarked the vessel. Some believe he landed in France; others believe it was Cornwall or Wales. Regardless of the destination, Patrick was a changed man. His mystic experiences in Ireland, on top of his Roman Catholic upbringing, led him to believe that his life’s mission was to “Christianise” the pagan and druidic people of Ireland.

Most historians believe that Patrick then spent some 20 years as a monk before seeing another vision which called him back to Ireland around 432AD. These two decades galvanised his religious devotion, and his Roman Catholic theology.

In hagiographical literature, Patrick is said to have raised 33 people from the dead, and miraculously supplied a herd of swine to hungry sailors who were travelling through his region. These, and many other legends are speculative at best.

Sadly, many naive and undiscerning protestant Christians lend their voice in support of this man and St. Patrick’s Day. What they fail to realise is that, despite espousing some truths in his Confessio, and his alleged use of the Irish Clover to explain the trinity, Patrick was a Roman Catholic whose missionary efforts left much to be desired in terms of theology. Whilst we need to be careful about being overly critical, especially when the historical narrative is somewhat obscured, I think it is safe to say that Patrick was a mystic whose reliance on visions and dreams are cause for concern. Furthermore, his establishment of many monasteries in Ireland also demonstrates a misunderstanding of biblical ecclesiology.

For these reasons, and because this commemoration has evolved into an event marked by revelry and debauchery, I choose not to participate in St. Patrick’s Day. As with all non-biblical celebrations, every Christian must decide in their own mind what is right for themselves and for their families.

Wherever you land on this matter, it is important to be familiar with the history and traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day in order that you might present Christ to an increasingly hostile world. May God help us  to exercise discernment and wisdom as we  consider these things. 

We Need a Cure

A Short Easter Message by Pastor Daniel Kriss for the Alexandra Standard Newspaper (8/4/20)
At the time of writing this, there are 5635 positive cases of Coronavirus in Australia, and tragically, 34 people have died. The world as we know it has changed, and this Easter will be remembered for many years to come.
With so much uncertainty in the world, I believe it is best to remind you of a changeless truth that transcends our current situation, namely, the fact that Jesus came into the world to rescue us from a more serious virus than Covid-19, the universal disease of sin.
Unlike the Coronavirus, sin has a 100% strike rate and every person tests positive to this soul-threatening malady. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and are guilty of breaking God’s law. The good news, however, is that there is a cure. Presently, doctors and medical teams all over the world are working on vaccines and antidotes to combat Covid-19, and I am sure they will have success soon. When it comes to the universal problem of sin, the Bible tells us that the cure has already been provided in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
No doubt you are familiar with the “Easter Story,” but do you know the reason why there was a bloodied man crucified on a cross? The answer is to save you from your sin. Because God is holy and He cannot allow sin to enter into His presence, He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as a substitute for all who would believe on Him. His death and subsequent resurrection opened the way for sinful man to come to God, be cleansed, and given eternal life. This gift of forgiveness must be received by faith, it cannot be worked for.
My prayer is that at this most unusual time in our history, you might come to know the real meaning of Easter!

Booklets & Study Guides

Exciting Announcement: New! Booklets & Study Guides

Glorious Gospel Ministries has just published three new study guides, and one more is on its way as I write this.  These can be found in the “Study Guides” menu above or by clicking here.
The purpose of publishing these booklets  is to provide biblical, helpful, and comprehensive  treatment of a particular subject in the Scriptures.  They are well-researched and all references are included as a footnote at the bottom of each page. 
These publications are not copyright and distribution is encouraged. 
Check back regularly as new studies are being designed and uploaded most weeks.
Praying these resources with be a blessing to you!
With love and affection,

Pastor Daniel Kriss


A Biblical Response to the Coronavirus (SARS COVID-2; COVID-19)


The first reports of this new strain of Coronavirus were made in December 2019, and emerged in China, specifically in Wuhan province. The virus has been referred to as SARS Covid-2, and the disease as COVID-19. The observed symptoms are fever, cough, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea. These symptoms are similar to those of a flu, particularly similar to influenza.[1]

The rate of transmission and the lack of a medically endorsed vaccine has been the cause of widespread panic. Many people are hiding in their homes and basements, having amassed great amounts of food, toilet paper, and other groceries in the fear of an apocalypse. Doomsday media outlets are not helping bring sanity and hope but instead are promoting panic and alarm. Travel bans, global financial crises, and country quarantines are all adding fuel to the fear-filled fire.

How should the Christian respond to all of this?


While we remain on alert against viruses and disease, worrying won’t change our circumstances or lower our chance of infection. It won’t help us fight off illness or move us to action. Worrying about COVID-19 (or anything else) will only increase trouble. Rather than worrying and being anxious, Jesus calls us to respond with prayer and faith in him (Matthew 6:33–34; Philippians 4:6). We need not worry ultimately because we know the One who has defeated sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55–57).

Remind yourself continually: it takes the same amount of energy to worry as to pray. One leads to peace, the other to panic. [2]

Remember the Truth About God

  1. God is still on the throne (sovereignty): Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:9-10. R.C. Sproul used to say, “there cannot be a single maverick molecule anywhere in the universe that is outside of God’s sovereignty.”
  2. God saved us from fear and anxiety: 2 Timothy 1:7; John 14:27
  3. God promises peace: Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7
  4. God numbered our days long before COVID-19 was on the scene: Psalm 139:16
  5. God is the Great Healer: Psalm 103:3 (this is descriptive, not prescriptive).
  6. God has a plan for His children: Romans 8:28


In times of crisis, the world needs help and hope. We can provide both. As Christians, we are to reach out to people in need and help them in both practical and spiritual ways. Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” We must not be so concerned for our own welfare that we will not minister to others (Philippians 2:3). Hiding in basements, stockpiling food and supplies, and distancing ourselves from others is not how believers should behave.

It is at times like these that our light shines brightest because it stands in stark contrast with wide-eyed fear, darkness, anxiety, and death. The world should see in us divine strength (Ephesians 6:10), a hope that comes from above (1 Peter 3:15), and a willingness to serve others even in the face of danger (Acts 15:26).

This is a good time for Christians to demonstrate sanity, peace, and hope, recognizing that our lives do not depend on the entry of a micro-organism into our bodies. Instead, it depends on the God who determines the beginning and the end of our history on earth.[3]

As you look for opportunities to minister to the sick or fearful, speak about the greater global epidemic – sin. Let the COVID-19 situation be a catalyst to speak about spiritual matters. The greatest need any individual has is not a cure for the Coronavirus, but salvation from their sin through Jesus Christ.

May God grant us the boldness and opportunities to move beyond merely ministering to physical maladies, but to also address the far weightier spiritual and eternal realities.

Ideas for Practical Outreach

  • Talk openly with people about their fears and anxieties. Offer to pray for them (right there on the spot)
  • Be generous and meet the needs of others e.g. a roll of toilet paper, a little hand sanitiser, paper towel, etc.
  • Write cards to people who you know are experiencing fear and remind them that you are available to listen to their concerns.
  • Write a note to the medical practitioners, paramedics, and nurses in your area expressing thanks to them for their efforts on the front line of this epidemic. Perhaps you could commend them for their years of study, service, and willingness to put themselves in danger for the wellbeing of their community.
  • If you are actively involved in a church, encourage people to bring to the church building items that promote hygiene which can then be dispensed to members of the community as the need arises.


As Christians, we must not be reckless, but we also must not be paralysed by fear. It is essential we take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our families, but not to the disregard of others.

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus sent out His disciples into a volatile Roman world where they would be as “sheep in the midst of wolves”. He commanded them to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” These unusual similes contained two important truths which are applicable to the COVID-19 situation today: (1) be wise, shrewd, and cunning (positively) as you interact with society and particularly in times of persecution and affliction; (2) be harmless, innocent, and gentle as you relate to people.

In other words, exercise wisdom and gentleness as is befitting the child of God.


As this epidemic continues, be socially sensitive. It may not be the best idea to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (2 Corinthians 13:12). Sensitivity, empathy, and understanding are all character qualities of the Christian and must be extended in all we do.

In this regard, we must be careful not to judge others. Through fear, many may feel the need to wear masks, avoid shaking hands, and even act uncharitably. In grace, we must demonstrate the love of Christ to them, even if they are fellow-Christians who are weaker in their faith (Romans 14:1-11).

For church goers, if you are sick or are showing any type of flu-like symptoms, in the interest of public safety, hygiene, and perceptions, and because we love one another, please stay home.


MCCBC leadership is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our state and when or if the Government Health Authorities mandate a limit on public gatherings, we intend to comply.

At this time, there is no indication that we will need to cancel any church events. However, as COVID-19 is a new virus and there is no approved vaccine as yet, we are actively taking reasonable precautions as it spreads.

While we do not want to be alarmists, we do want to be proactive and prepared where we can be. If you are sick or are showing any type of flu-like symptoms, please stay home.

We hope to be able to livestream our services so that those who are unwell can still be part of the worship from their homes. We encourage you to follow the health practices listed by the Health Authorities to keep everyone safe.

Specific Practicalities

  1. Hand sanitiser stations throughout the building.
  2. Air purifiers on order (Country Tech).
  3. Cleaning of air conditioner filters.
  4. Antibacterial wipes/sprays for surfaces.
  5. Limiting physical contact at individual’s discretion.


In Luke 21:10-11 and Matthew 24:8, we are reminded that world-wide pestilence and disease epidemics point to the return of Christ. Of course, we do not know the day or hour (Matthew 24:36), but as these events become more extreme and in closer succession, we are reminded that they are the “beginning of the birth pains.”

The imminent return of Christ should bring great joy and excitement to the heart of the believer, even in the midst of global panic. May the extreme nature of the COVID-19 cause our minds and eyes to look heaven-ward, from where we “await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20).






[1] Taken from

[2] Taken from



Discipleship in the Local Church

The Discipleship Mandate

It is the responsibility of every Christian and every Church to be engaged in discipleship. This is not an “accessory” which we can opt in or out of, it is a mandate given to the apostles at Christ’s ascension, and to us by derivation (Matthew 28:19-20).
To that end, time is spent  every week developing a specific discipleship series for our church. The introduction and lessons are included below for your edification. The present study is based upon Peter’s first epistle, and new lessons will be uploaded as they become available. 
This material is not  copyright and distribution is encouraged.  Read more…

An Open Letter to the Wife of the Pastor

Dear Wife of the Pastor,.

You are an unsung hero in the church! Rarely is your exceptional ministry noticed, let alone commended. I am writing to you because you need regular encouragement, and most Christians are unaware of your unique burdens, trials, and the strain that your husband’s ministry places upon you.

Please be assured of the fact that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,[1] and in due course you will be rewarded if you faint not.[2]

This personal note is written to remind you about the truths of your ministry at home and your involvement in the local church. These have been organised into five different headings so that the points are clearly defined and easy to follow.

May this letter encourage you and help your church to pray and support you most effectively. You are loved; you are appreciated; you will be rewarded.


How often have you been called “The Pastor’s Wife” despite the fact that no such title exists in the Bible? Well-meaning people raise you to a place of prominence because of your husband’s responsibilities, but they do not realise that you were never called to the ministry. 

What churches often fail to see is that the pastorate is not the responsibility of a man and his wife. In fact, the Bible has nothing to say about one who is married to a pastor except that which relates to all Christian wives. When assemblies elevate the wife of a pastor, they are unknowingly setting her up for failure because of the unachievable (and unbiblical) expectations they place upon her. She is not an office-bearer in the church and must be protected from being viewed in this position.

Perhaps the greatest danger associated with assigning an unbiblical title is that she will lose her unique, God-given identity. She is not seen for who she really is, but for what is expected of her. Her temperament, talents, and individuality are held hostage by perceptions of her ministry. This leads to great anguish of spirit and if left unattended, may result in serious mental health issues.


Sadly, most Christians expect the wife of the pastor to possess the full gamut of spiritual gifts so that she can speak eloquently at women’s conventions, organise special church events, counsel women effectively, provide outstanding food, plan and coordinate the creche ministry, be constantly given to hospitality, and always filled with joy and energy. This is simply not the case. In fact, it seems like there is greater expectation these days placed upon the wife of the pastor than the pastor himself.

You must remember that you are first and foremost a wife. Whether or not you are gifted to teach is a secondary matter, and this must be remembered by the church. Practically speaking, this means that your primary responsibility is to manage the home and be submissive to your husband.[3]

Every Christian has been given at least one spiritual gift,[4] and this includes you, but the church must be very careful that you receive the same treatment as all people in the assembly. It is important that you are afforded the privilege of discovering what your particular area of service is, rather than being shaped by the expectations of others on account of your connection to the pastor.


Some ladies who are married to a pastor revel in their “derived authority”, whilst others shudder at the thought of having to make decisions in the church. On either end of this scale there is a spiritual misunderstanding. The Scriptures make it clear that only biblically qualified men in the local church are conferred any authority, and this leadership has very specific commands and guidelines.[5]


Although you may not have been called into the ministry in the same way your husband was, you have been given a very unique and challenging area of service. Most of your ministry is not seen by the public, and the majority of the struggles are behind closed doors. Listening to your husband’s daily interactions, offering love and support to him when he is discouraged, and “lending” him to the church many nights each week are just some of the burdens you face on a regular basis.  By its very nature, your ministry is fraught with loneliness and often means that it is difficult to maintain close friendships with ladies in the church. On top of this, you must be ready at a moment’s notice to have people in your home who need counselling from your husband. Even date nights and time that is set aside for relaxing together can be interrupted when serious matters arise. If your husband is not fully supported by the church and outside work is required, this presents another dimension to an already complicated life which you must come to terms with.

Many people pray for their pastor and so they should.[6] However, most neglect to pray for the wife of the pastor and this is largely because they do not understand where you fit in the local church, and the enormity of your responsibilities at home. It is important that you operate with honesty and humility so that people are educated in how to support you and pray for you. This means that you must share (wisely) the burdens and struggles you face on a weekly basis with carefully selected people.


Most of this letter has been spent correcting misconceptions surrounding your life and ministry. At this point I would like to remind you that you have the unique privilege of a front row seat in the ministry. If you are not careful, you will paint your husband’s ministry in bleak and cheerless colours when in actual fact, it is the highest calling in all the world. To peak behind the curtain a little and to see in greater detail God’s work of sanctification in your local church is an unparalleled joy. Watching your husband- the man of God, study, pray, preach, counsel, and minister to people is a rare and wondrous blessing. To see firsthand how God changes people and to work alongside the servant of the Lord is a sacred and unique responsibility. Don’t let the burdens and hardships rob you of the joy associated with your special calling to be the wife of a pastor.

In Sincere Love and Appreciation,

Pastor Daniel Kriss

[1] 1 Corinthians 15:58

[2] Galatians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 5:10

[3] Titus 2:5

[4] 1 Peter 4:10

[5] Refer to 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9

[6] 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

This letter is dedicated to my wife, Jessica, who has served by my side in the ministry for many years

Lessons from a Dinner Party: The Sacrificial Life

TEXT: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8


In our first message, we joined Mary and Martha at a dinner party in Bethany. In that lesson, we learned the priority of worship and communion with Christ. Now we attend another dinner party in Bethany, this time at Simon the Leper’s home. The narrative includes the following characters: Jesus, Martha, Mary, Lazarus, Simon the Leper, and the disciples.

Join me as I preach the second in our two-part series today entitled: Lessons from a Dinner Party #2: The Sacrificial Life.


Most commentators believe that there exists about a 2-month gap between the end of John 11 and the start of John 12. I mention this because in John 11 Lazarus is raised from the dead, and in John 12, he is still alive and reclining at dinner with the Lord Jesus.

The apostle John tells us that this passage is only six days before Christ’s arrest and subsequent death (John 12:1).

It is the sabbath and Jesus is invited to celebrate it with His friends in Bethany before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the next day.

It is precious to observe that Martha is here serving. She had not got bitter and twisted by the Lord’s former comments which we read earlier. I know many Christians who would have simply thrown in the towel, but Martha is back doing what she loves, and it appears that she had learned the lesson Christ had taught her. Furthermore, we see that she is serving in a different household now. Not only had she responded well to the Lord’s loving rebuke, her ministry had increased to serving, cooking, and helping in other people’s homes!

Mary’s Sacrificial Gift was Extravagant

“Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12:3).

“A woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table” (Matthew 26:7).

“A woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head” (Matthew 14:3).

“Spikenard” or “pure nard” was a perfume derived from the very small and tender root of the Nard Plant found in India. The fact that it was pure meant it was genuine and unadulterated, which is what made it so costly.

Most commentators believe that this ointment was Mary’s dowry or inheritance. It was worth somewhere in the vicinity of a man’s annual wage.

It is important for us to note that the pure nard was housed in an alabaster flask (not mentioned in this account). This too, was of significant value. This long-necked bottle was made from a special variety of marble, a material which proved to be the best container for preserving expensive perfumes and oils. Once broken, it could not be re-sealed.

Mary had no intention of a partial sacrifice – it was everything!

Not only did Mary anoint the Lord Jesus with this precious substance, but she also broke the seal to this expensive container.

The Bible tells us that Mary poured the perfume over the head of Jesus (Mark 14:3; Matthew 26:7). Jesus explains that this anointing pointed to His death and the embalmment of His body. 

In just a few days, the Lord Himself would be broken like the alabaster flask and be poured out for the sins of His people. 

The Apostle John records for us a unique aspect to this account. We are told that Mary also “anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair” (John 12:3).

Another important principle is seen in this act. Paul tells us that the “glory of a woman is her long hair” (1 Corinthians 11:15), and Mary laid her glory at the feet of Jesus.


True worship comes at a great cost. Too many Christians today are unwilling to present themselves as a living sacrifice.

Consider the sacrifice Christ made for us. Consider what it cost.

Mary’s Sacrificial Gift was Fragrant

“The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:3).

Mary’s gift filled the house with a beautiful aroma. Its fragrance permeated everything. Beginning with Jesus, transferred to Mary, and then to those who observed this scene of worship.

Does this not present a glorious analogy? When Christ is worshiped, the worshipers themselves carry away something of the fragrance of that moment. No house is so filled with pleasant aroma as the house where Jesus is given His rightful place.

The fragrance of Christ is conferred to all who worship Him in spirit and in truth.


“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).

God was well-pleased with the sacrifice of His Son, it was a fragrant offering. God was well-pleased with Noah’s sacrifice, it was a “soothing aroma” (Genesis 8:20).

Is God well-pleased with your life of sacrifice? Does it spread the knowledge of Him everywhere?

Mary’s Sacrificial Gift was an Irritant

In all three accounts (Matthew, Mark & John), we find that Mary’s sacrificial gift was an irritant. It upset people.

Matthew tells us that the disciples were indignant (Matthew 26:8); Mark tells us that some believed the ointment had been wasted and scolded Mary (Mark 14:4,5); John points out that Judas Iscariot was upset because an opportunity had been lost to sell the perfume for personal gain (John 12:4-6).

The lesson here is that sacrificial worship irritates and infuriates those who are disinterested in living the worshipful life. They will see sacrifice as a waste and justify their foolishness by appealing to other ways the gift could be used.


I remember years ago I was in discussion with a worldly Christian who asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I explained that God had called me to the ministry and that I was eager to serve Him. The older man was disappointed. He had just attended an event where I had sung. He said to me, “there is so much more to life, don’t waste your gift on the church, you could be famous.”

Worldly Christians despise sacrifice. They loathe the thought of laying our all at His feet. They see no value to surrender and have never experienced the deeper life in Christ.

At this juncture, it is important to remember that though our sacrifice be an irritant to many, Christ commends it!

“Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me” (Matthew 26:10).

The world may despise you; some believers may mock and ridicule you; Christ commends you because true worship and sacrifice is a beautiful thing.

This is never more clearly seen than in the sacrifice of Christ. It was an irritant to all who hated Him, but for us who believe, it is the most beautiful thing in all the world!

Mary’s Sacrificial Gift was Permanent

Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her” (Matthew 26:13).

“And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her” (Mark 14:9).

Mary’s act was immortalised. This was not Mary’s intention, nor had she set out to make a name for herself. However, this sacrificial act, which was conducted in humility, love, and worship, had everlasting consequences.

Is there not a clear application here? Do not our genuine acts of worship and sacrifice transcend time and space? Are they not the gold, silver, and precious stones that endure?


This morning we dealt with the importance of worship, and now we have considered the importance of sacrifice. On this 21st anniversary of Mt. Cathedral Community Baptist Church, it has been my intention to remind us of what matters most – worship and sacrifice. From these comes our service, but never apart from them.

May God help us to be ever found worshipping and offering ourselves as living sacrifices in His service. I close this special day with a poem by Charles Thomas Studd, the British cricketer and missionary to China.

Only One Life – By C.T. Studd

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Only one life, yes only one,

Soon will its fleeting hours be done;

Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,

And stand before His Judgement seat;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Only one life, the still small voice,

Gently pleads for a better choice

Bidding me selfish aims to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Only one life, a few brief years,

Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;

Each with its clays I must fulfil,

living for self or in His will;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


When this bright world would tempt me sore,

When Satan would a victory score;

When self would seek to have its way,

Then help me Lord with joy to say;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Give me Father, a purpose deep,

In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;

Faithful and true what e’er the strife,

Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Oh let my love with fervour burn,

And from the world now let me turn;

Living for Thee, and Thee alone,

Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


Only one life, yes only one,

Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;

And when at last I’ll hear the call,

I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.